Thursday, October 18, 2012
Jim Brown’s case cries out for public scrutiny
Ian Mulgrove from the Vancouver Sun just wrote a powerful article about Grant Wakefield, the person who complained about Coquitlam RCMP officer Jim Brown’s bizarre BDSM pictures Brown posted on the Internet. As a result of his complaint, Wakefield's home was searched, his computers seized and he was charged criminally with defamation.
The Mounties said this case was a criminal libel investigation over allegedly defamatory online comments made about RCMP officers, including Brown. Yet the accuracy of Wakefield’s claims has not been tested and that issue is not expected to form part of the judgment. If someone is telling the truth, that is not defamation. For that fact not to be considered means this is not a court of law.
“This is a case that cries out for public scrutiny,” added Michael Bozic, the lawyer for the civil liberties association. “The continuing secrecy around this file is unacceptable,” David Eby, executive director of the BCCLA, said outside the court. “We shouldn’t have to go to court to get this information. Why do we have the police seizing the computers of people who offend police officers? Why can’t the police use the civil trial process like everyone else?”
Sun lawyer Scott Dawson reinforced that message in his submission. “Citizens want to know the RCMP are not using state powers to silence those whose information is critical or embarrassing to the force,” Dawson said.
I agree that this case cries out for public scrutiny. I agree the continued secrecy around the file is unacceptable. I agree citizens want to know the RCMP are not using state powers to silence those whose information is critical or embarrassing to the force. I also agree that Jim Browns BDSM pictures are just the tip of the iceberg. Two names in the article need to be investigated: Robert Pickton and the Big Red Machine.